By Star-Bulletin Staff

Saturday, February 7, 1998

Punahou Carnival Time

By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
When the annual Punahou Carnival opened Friday, Uryi Patel from Shriners
Hospital got a body painting from students Pua Kishimoto, left, and
Chanel Kealoha. The carnival continued through Saturday.

Honolulu warms up to a balmy 59 degrees

Honolulu's low temperature crept up to 59 degrees early Saturday, after a record low for the date of 56 degrees was set Friday.

The record low for Feb. 7 is 56 degrees, set in 1981.

A cooler weather pattern is predicted for next week with mostly light winds and clear skies, said Bob Larsen, National Weather Service lead forecaster.

Temperatures may be in the mid-to-upper 50s at times, and could be closer to 60 if winds and clouds pick up, Larsen said. "There will be some slight variation," he said. "Still it feels, by our standards, cool."

Will underwater hotel proposal float?

A $40 million hotel and recreational facility is being proposed on Oahu with 80 staterooms, two observatories, a restaurant and an aqua park -- all under the sea.

In addition to four decks below water, four decks would be above and topped by twin crystal domes with wedding chapels.

"From our research, this would be the first in the world," said George Berean, managing director of the architectural firm, Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo.

"It's basically signifying a viable commercial-ecological approach to inner space."

Rick Egged, director of the planning office in the state Deparment of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, met with the developers and said, "It sounds like an exciting project." But he also said it will require a lot of environmental permitting, which will take time.

The fantasy of Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" would become reality with the proposed development, said Philip Cavana, chairman of the Asian Infrastructure Development Co. and the marine habitat board.

Pressurized tank hook-ups would be available for divers to go in and out of the undersea facilities as Verne envisioned, he said.

The project "would start to create some sort of theme park" for Hawaii that kids and parents could enjoy together, Cavana said.

Pay raises for state judges proposed in House

Chief Justice Ronald Moon has pleaded the case for a pay raise for state judges who have not had a salary increase in eight years.

"The issue of judicial salaries is about more than just money; it is about fairness and equity," he said in a rare appearance before the House Judiciary Committee Friday.

Judiciary Chairman Terrance Tom (D, Kaneohe) apparently agreed and amended an administration bill to remove provisions changing the retirement benefits of judges.

Gov. Ben Cayetano vetoed a bill giving judges a pay raise last session because of concerns over a benefit that allows judges to collect retirement pay after 10 years of service and before age 55.

The bill he proposed would have done away with that benefit, changed the way retirement pay is calculated and tied future raises to retention and the Consumer Price Index.

Instead, Tom proposed to give judges a straight 8 percent raise over the next two years.

New Year's Day killing by police ruled justified

The Prosecutor's Office has closed the case of the New Year's Day shooting death at Mayor Wright Housing, saying the police action was justified.

Larry Grean, director of screening at the office, Friday reviewed the police investigation of the shooting by an off-duty officer.

He determined that Officer Teneri Maafala was justified under the state's penal code when he shot and killed Benedict "Tiki" Manupule.

In the incident, Maafala was visiting family at Mayor Wright when he responded to complaints about a man armed with a gun threatening residents.

More than 20 witness statements confirmed that Maafala identified himself as a police officer and returned fire only after Manupule of Kuhio Valley Homes shot at him.

Missing Social Security checks due here soon

A postal official said 1,800 missing Social Security disability checks should arrive in Hawaii by Monday after they may have been placed in wrong ZIP code trays on the mainland.

Felice Broglio, spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service in Hawaii, said 1,500 of the missing checks were headed to Waianae. The rest were scattered among 40 postal stations in the state.

Broglio said the checks are being traced back to Philadelphia, where they were mailed.

If people don't receive their checks by Monday, they should call 1-800-772-1213.

Honolulu police officer files sex harassment suit

A police officer is asking for $2.5 million in damages in a sexual harassment suit filed against several of her male peers and supervisors.

Sharon Chun, a 10-year veteran of the Honolulu Police Department, charges the harassment began in 1995 with circulation of a computer image of Chun's face superimposed on a nude photograph of another woman.

In the Circuit Court suit filed Thursday, she said the prank escalated to a potentially dangerous situation when officers retaliated against her for complaining through channels.

"She complained, she was transferred and she found no one would respond as back-up when she was sent on calls," said her attorney, Michael Green. "Her life is at stake because she stood up for her principles."

Green said Chun has been on "stress leave" for several months and is currently in Nevada with her parents.

The suit names recently retired Police Chief Michael Nakamura, Acting Chief Lee Donohue and others.

Bishop gets extension on IRS records

Bishop Estate has until Feb. 20 to turn over Internal Revenue Service records to the attorney general's office under a ruling by Circuit Judge Kevin Chang.

Chang Friday granted the estate a two-week extension but denied its request to suspend his Jan. 16 ruling, which ordered the estate to hand over the IRS documents.

The records, known as information document requests, could show whether individual Bishop Estate trustees received benefits and perks at the expense of the nonprofit trust, the state has argued.

The state had subpoenaed the IRS records in its investigation into allegations of financial mismanagement and breaches of fiduciary duty by the trustees.

"We would have preferred to see the documents a little sooner," said Larry Goya, deputy attorney general, noting that the Bishop Estate has stonewalled the state on many of its requests for information.

"But in the greater scheme of things, a couple of weeks isn't going to harm anyone."

Legal notices might be published in MidWeek

Readers could be finding government legal notices in MidWeek, the free weekly newspaper, rather than in Honolulu's two daily newspapers, where they've appeared for decades.

House and Senate conferees Friday agreed on legislation that would give the state more flexibility in determining where to place legal notices, including on the Internet.

The measure, said Senate Consumer Protection Co-Chairman David Ige (D, Pearl City), would spur competition and likely save the state a fair amount of money.

The bill won approval after House conferees agreed to a Senate recommendation that the measure take effect immediately after it becomes law rather than July 1.

Suspect, 16, admits to purse snatchings

Police said one of two teen-age suspects arrested earlier this week for four Kalihi purse snatchings has admitted to six other incidents in Pearl City and downtown.

The 16-year-old Kalihi boy was arrested on four counts of second-degree robbery and was released Thursday pending further investigation.

Detectives said he admitted to a total of 10 purse snatchings. He is expected to be charged next week.

Also arrested was Kalihi resident John Luna, 18, who is charged with second-degree robbery, according to police. He is being held in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Detective Henry Nobriga said the suspects targeted women with shoulder-strap handbags. They committed the snatchings near or at bus stops between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. The ages of the victims ranged from 28 to 66, but the majority were in their 50s.

See expanded coverage in Saturday's Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
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